Five Things to Know About Steeplechase

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photo by Donna Vissman

The Iroquois Steeplechase, benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, will return to Percy Warner Park on Saturday, May 11, 2024. If you don’t have a ticket yet, a few remain to purchase here. 

Here are things you need to know about the annual event in Nashville since 1941.

1Be Prepared for Weather

Sunny day cloudscape

The race has been continuous since 1941 except for World War II and COVID-19, but it will take place rain or shine. Be prepared for the weather, and remember that the event is on grass; wear appropriate shoes.

2Parking

Steeplechase

Parking passes must be displayed on your windshield when you approach the gate. Find the special parking map here.

Plan for traffic delays in getting to the race site. Here are the directions for those using rideshare. From I-40 West,  Take exit 199 for “Highway 251/Old Hickory Boulevard”. Turn left onto Old Hickory Boulevard/Highway 251. Continue to follow Old Hickory Boulevard until it dead ends into Highway 100. Turn left onto Highway 100. Turn right onto Old Hickory Boulevard. Turn right onto Vaughn Road. You will see Gate 4 on the left. **You can follow Gate 4 signage from Highway 100 to the Grounds.

3It’s as Much About Fashion as the Horses

photo by Donna Vissman

As Nashville’s rite of spring since 1941, race day is full of annual traditions and new attractions, and one of those is fashion. It’s the day to bring out your best hat and outfit. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses.

4There will be Six Races

photo by Donna Vissman

There will be six races throughout the day, with the first one starting at 1 p.m. A steeplechase thoroughbred’s average speed is 30 mph and it weighs 1,100 lbs. In between races, don’t miss the stick pony race and the parade of the hounds.

5Don’t Bring These Items to Steeplechase

photo courtesy of Steeplechase

When it comes to what to bring and what to leave at home, attendees are required to present their ticket, armband, and parking pass upon entering the race. Glass containers, pets, propane grills, buses, limos, and firearms are prohibited from the race grounds. There will be food trucks on hand to purchase food and drink. Or you can bring your own items for race day.

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